Updated 02/03/2012 08:54 AM
LCRA battles allegations of mismanagement, skewed priorities
LCRA officials say they will continue trucking water into Spicewood Beach residents and, for now, will absorb the cost. YNN's John Salazar is keeping up with the Spicewood Beach water woes. He spoke to neighbors who say LCRA chose profits over people. See his report in the video above.
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The Lower Colorado River Authority has responded to a statement from State Sen. Troy Fraser regarding the dwindling supply of the Spicewood Beach community in Burnet County.
Wells in the area began to dry up more quickly in recent weeks, prompting the river authority to enact Stage 4 water restrictions. Earlier this week, the LCRA had to haul in water from an outside source.
Sen. Fraser’s letter criticizes the LCRA’s management and its decision to sell water from the area wells despite Central Texas’ chronic drought. In 2011, the LCRA sold 47 million gallons of water from the Spicewood Beach and Western Travis County water supplies to 29 different commercial providers.
“During our state's ongoing drought, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) should have known that pulling water out of this system to sell to some other entity could be detrimental to the system,” Sen. Fraser wrote. "The LCRA's management of this system contributed to this well going dry and the LCRA has the obligation and the resources to take care of it.”
LCRA General Manager Rebecca Motal responded to Sen. Fraser in a follow up letter. In it, she concedes the river authority sells water to water hauling businesses that primarily draw from the West Travis County system, and that only two haulers drew water from Spicewood Beach in 2011.
Motal writes that those haulers were told on Jan. 4 that they could no longer draw water from the Spicewood Beach system.
According to the letter, LCRA will not charge Spicewood Beach customers the cost of bringing in water from an outside source. Motal writes the river authority is “assessing what can be done to ensure that Spicewood Beach has a functioning water system for the long term.”
However, Motal adds that those answers will be “expensive solutions that will take some time to implement.”
Click the links to read Sen. Fraser’s statement and the LCRA’s response.